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US jobless claims unexpectedly rise last week

New claims for unemployment benefits rose last week in the US to their highest level since January, a development that could raise fears the labor market recovery was stalling after job creation slowed in March.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 380,000, the Labor Department said today. The prior week's figure was revised up to 367,000 from the previously reported 357,000.

The four-week moving average for new claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends, rose 4,250 to 368,500.

Despite the rise in claims last week, both first-time applications for unemployment aid and the four-week average held below the 400,000 mark, implying job gains above March's tally.

A Labor Department official said there was nothing unexpected in the state-level data.

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Tags:  US  jobless  claims  unemployment  economy  





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